Publisher Seven Seas Entertainment introduced creator Nagabe’s 2016 series “The Girl from the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún” to English manga readers in January 2017. The book followed the very young Shiva as she and her guardian named Teacher forged through the empty villages on the outskirts of the Inside kingdom. The land had a legend of the Gods of Light and Darkness which led to humans form a closed territory, protecting its residences from the Outsiders, strange shadowy humanoid creatures with a poisonous cursed touch. The curse transformed those it infected into Outsiders. Because of it, Shiva must always be careful every time she approached Teacher for he is also an Outsider. The two found ways to avoid physical contact though it made some simple tasks complicated like medical care. Still they continued to thrive but only time will tell how long they have until both the Insiders and Outsiders find them.

Fans of fantasy manga may see a striking resemblance “The Girl from the Other Side” has to Seven Seas’ other series by Kore Yamazaki “The Ancient Magus’ Bride.” Both stories have young female protagonists with well-mannered magical counterparts as partners. Each act as student and instructor respectively, but Shiva is more of Teacher’s adopted daughter. Nagabe uses cross hatching (either through traditional or digital tools) to give visual texture without use of a lot of color gradients which reflects the narrative’s flow. The harsh contrast between the light and dark elements show the balance between gentle scenes of Shiva and Teacher’s daily tasks versus the grim reality that the Outsider tries to hide from the child.

Sadly everyone will have to wait for Halloween to find out the answer to Volume One’s cliffhanger ending. The series is still ongoing in Japan through publisher Mag Garden in chapter installments so English fans will have to wait until Seven Seas get their hands on the completed volumes. Luckily, that time can be spent checking out “The Ancient Magus’ Bride” series. For more information on both books, visit Seven Seas Entertainment’s site.